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The Woiworung

White man's history is only
short compared with that of the
first people who lived here. The
more recent history, important
though it may be, must be seen
against the backdrop of a
40,000 year old culture. Much
has changed, but there is a
continuing Koori presence in
Fitzroy, including those who
can claim to be descendants of
the Woiworung, the tribe who
lived in the area drained by the
Yarra River and its tributaries
. . . (Wayne Atkinson, Koori Oral

When Europeans first settled
the area, a single group of
Aborigines consisting of four
tribes owned all of the Port
Phillip region and as far north
asEuroa. The members of these
four tribes (the Taungurong, the
Wathaurung, the Bunurong
and the Woiworung) spoke
similar languages and were said
to form a sort of confederacy or
nation. The name given by the
Aborigines themselves to this
nation was Kulin from their
word for man . . .
. . . Each of the Kulin tribes
identified with a particular area
of land, which they regarded as
their own since the time of the
Dreaming or creation . . . The
Woiworung lived in all parts of
their territory from Mount
William near Lancefield, across
the tributaries of the Yarra to
the Dandenong Ranges. . .
. , There are about fifteen
thousand people of Aboriginal
descent in Victoria today, more
than seven thousand of whom
live in Melbourne. . . Most
importantly, Aboriginal history
is no longer the sole province of
white historians; Aborigines are
writing their own history and
compiling their own records of<
their past.
(Gary Presland, The Land
of the Ruling


(Lithograph by J. S. Prout, LaTrobe
Collection, State Library of Victoria)